Cover Photo By Danni Lim
Cover Photo By Danni Lim.

How my dad taught me to love cinema

With my passion for filmmaking already brewing at a very young age, I can never thank my dad enough for showing me his love for movies.

By Ralph Regis | Sunday, 19 June 2022

As we celebrate Father’s Day, we may remember the little things that remind us how our dad, daddy, papa, and tatay showered us with love through their hobbies. Some fathers love to watch basketball, collect action figures or diecast cars, or bury themselves with handiwork around the house.


My dad, on the other hand, introduced me to Hollywood. 


Though he’s never actually been to the “City of Angels,” his adoration for the Academy Awards, legendary actress Meryl Streep, and classic Hollywood films were seeds of what I choose to pursue later in life.


Youthful discovery

I can’t say that my relationship with my dad is smooth-sailing. We have our banters here and there, and we can’t say that our relationship is perfect. But I guess the one thing that connects us is motion pictures.


I remember how I’d glance through different issues of Entertainment Weekly, just to be enthralled by the dazzling images of actors, movie posters, and everything in between. I can vaguely remember the first few movies in the cinema as a kidーSpider-Man, Finding Nemo, and Finding Neverland.


Growing up, I would watch superhero movies on VCD. Anything from Superman, Batman, Spider-ManーI would jump up and down from glee and excitement. Superhero and action blockbusters were a sense of escape from the real world. Childlike wonders are something I wish to experience once again.


Back then, I never had the attention span to sit through movies with long running times. I couldn’t sit through Titanic without feeling bored. (Yes, a much-needed rewatch must happen soon.) Aside from getting into Oscar Best Picture nominees and winners, my dad is a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings franchise. I can only remember some exciting moments when watching it with him. I wouldn’t want to relive the trauma of experiencing a giant spider known as Shelob fueling my nightmares ever again.


As I grew older and quite tired of watching the same old movies I would always watch, there was this feeling of wanting to expand my library of movies. I won’t say that I decided to only watch movies critically. I’d be lying if I didn't watch it for entertainment. But change is quite good.


In high school, I’d always find time to watch movies at least once a day. It became a habit that I purely enjoy with an open mind. My passion for movies also grew. Though I can never get him to watch the movies that I love, we’d still bond over the ones he loves watching. 


By the end of senior high school, I knew what course I wanted to pursue. My dad didn’t hesitate to support me in my future endeavors. He was always there, alongside my mom. I guess my brother and I are quite lucky to have parents who want what’s best for my brother and I. And that means choosing the path that we’re most passionate about.


Getting older, aging well

Now that I look back, I find it strange that to this day, my dad has never asked too much about what and how I’m doing in college. I would film with my phone, write stuff all the time, and unleash my creativity. But I guess he trusted me enough and believed I knew what I was doing.


I never got the chance to talk to him about what I truly feel about college–the things we don’t usually discuss. I’d get pressured, anxious, and insecure in more ways than one. But I never told him all of this. I guess I was too scared to open up about my feelings with my dad, and that the best way I could thank him was to just do well in school. Now though, I just want to make my dad proud because, without him, I would never love the things I’m currently passionate about.


To this day, I don’t completely understand what a good father is. To begin with, I was never a great son to my dad. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time to undo all the stuff that made my dad so pissed. But as I grew older, I became more and more sure of pursuing my passion. And with my mom and dad there to support me, it is enough to keep me going as a writer in the long run.


To all fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day!